Travelogue, made for theatrical showing and commissioned by Cheverolet, promoting tourism by car in several Natural Parks, including Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, Minnehaha Parkway in Minneapolis and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
0631 PA8632 Roads to Romance: from 013.07; 16 Koda pos comp print
I Love Traveling the Pa Turnpike. I love the service Plaza's & Tunnels. Going from York to Breezwood & sometimes the whole way to Somerset. I was just on it on March 29th,07 to Somerset. I took the Family to the Meyersdale Maple Festival. It was fun just taking the Road Trip out there.
October 8, 2006 Subject:
Keep Kentucky, but give me the Pennsylvania Turnpike!
Post-WW2 Americans impressed by Germany's Autobahn began to construct modern highways, opening up the vast interior of the United States for the average middle-class driver. Unfortunately, with one exception Jam Handy seems to have run out of remarkable highways as these shorts feature only small 2-lane roads and emphasize the comfort of your Chevrolet rather than the wonders of the federal highway program.
This film has four roadtrips: At Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay we see lobster boats, a dubious war memorial, some fake Viking ruins, and gorgeous seaside towns. A little research reveals that even though there was interstate demand for a "Cape Cod Expressway" which would connect New York to Providence, federal highway construction didn't begin until 1956. The film notes "networks of fine roads with many bridges and ferries", and actually shows Mom and Dad consulting a map to find points of interest! The scenery is beautiful, and the family frolicks briefly in the freezing Atlantic, but this trip is dissapointingly un-highway-oriented.... The bluegrass lands don't fair much better. The film mentions highways leading TO Kentucky, but not across. Somehow we visit the homes of Henry Clay, Stephen Foster, and Daniel Boone, and we tour a log cabin to remind us of the Indian Wars (no teepees or Indian ruins naturally!). Then we chug down a dirt road (!) to see an aristocratic horse farm and the Kentucky Derby is mentioned. This is a boring vacation that dwells on history instead of modern wonders, even the Black banjo player is a figment of the past.... Next we go to Minneapolis/St Paul where Mississippi River paddle steamers can still be seen from the highway. Mostly we spend our time on the Minnehaha Parkway designated a "Scenic Byway" by the National Park Service, and part of the longest urban parkway system in the entire country.... Finally on our last trip we get back on the open road, the 160-mile "super-highway" called the Pennsylvania Turnpike! Whether going east or west, gushes the narrator, you drive without interuption or delay! The Turnpike closely followed the specifications of the Autobahn: no official speedlimit, low gradients, banked curves, and the suggestion that service plazas follow regional architecture, which resulted in Howard Johnson's that looked like little stone houses. Opened in 1940, the Turnpike is historically and politically significant and radically altered the federal highway program! None of this information is in the film, which instead bizzarely has the family stopping at an anonymous bubbling lake and visit an unspecified statue "one of the many historic monuments commemorating the people and places long held in deep respect by all Americans". Umm, ok.
The films are average quality, and the information superficial at best, criminally negligent at worst. The best parts are the beautiful Rhode Island towns. The worst part is the song.
June 8, 2004 Subject:
Leave the Negro alone son, he'll soon dissapear...
An amazing collection of Road To Romance spots that takes us to Naragannset Bay in Rhode Island, Kentucky, The Twin Cities, and of course, that vacation paradise, The Pennsylvania Tuenpike. Actually all of these are quite entertaining, seeing stuff I've never seen before in these areas. Features a new annoying song for this series and about the most Stepford Wives-ish family you've ever seen. I mean, I can't think of any family who would stand in front of a statue of Molly Pitcher for 5 minutes, can you?
A Jam Handy Production, presented by your Chevrolet dealer, in which we learn that the Pennsylvania Turnpike is "the Highway of Tomorrow", and a Chevy is "your magic carpet, that will carry you to the land of your heart's desire"...
This is actually a collection of mini-travelogues, each covering a different area of the country. Oddly enough, the only cars to be seen are Chevrolets, and they are everywhere.
The second of these shorts takes place in Kentucky, and contains a very odd moment. A typical white 50's family gather around to enjoy the song of a bearded old Negro with a banjo. When they turn around to leave, he disappears into thin air! Huh?
Other than that, it's a rather boring soft-sell, though with loads of nicely shot footage of American scenery.